iMessaging via RCS: Apple surprisingly on board

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imessaging via rcs apple surprisingly on board
imessaging via rcs apple surprisingly on board

Apple will also support RCS for messaging in the future. The company surprisingly announced this on Thursday evening. In addition to iMessage and SMS/MMS, iPhone users will be able to communicate with Apple’s pre-installed messaging app via the “Rich Communication Standard” for the first time in the future.

Over the next year, Apple will support the “RCS Universal Profile, as currently set as the standard by the GSM Association,” a company spokesperson told Mac & i. Apple believes that RCS “provides better interoperability than SMS or MMS.” The messaging app then supports RCS in parallel with iMessage, but the in-house service remains the “best and safest messaging experience for Apple users”.

Apple’s Messages app will support three messaging services in the future, in addition to SMS/MMS and iMessage and RCS. The latter is intended to improve messaging with Android users – especially in group chats – and enable the exchange of high-resolution photos and videos. In addition, cross-platform communication supports functions that have long been a given with other messaging services – including iMessage – such as the read status.

Concrete details about the integration have not yet been given. According to Apple, the standard does not currently support strong encryption. They want to work with other members of the GSM Association to ensure that this becomes part of the specification one day.

Google in particular has tried to build public pressure in recent years to get Apple to support RCS. Apple boss Tim Cook rejected RCS last year: He didn’t believe “that our users expect us to put a lot of energy into it,” Cook emphasized at a conference. It recently became known that Google and major network operators have asked the EU Commission to classify iMessage as a central platform service and thus subject it to the new rules of the Digital Markets Act. If that happens, Apple will have to ensure interoperability here too.

iMessages are protected with end-to-end encryption and can only be exchanged between Apple devices. Exchanging iMessages with other platforms such as Android is usually only possible via obscure detours, such as using a home Mac mini as a server that receives the iMessages and forwards them to an Android app.

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The smartphone manufacturer Nothing wants to release a messaging app for its Phone 2 on Friday with which Android users can also receive and send iMessages – via a third-party provider that you have to trust with your Apple ID password. In the USA in particular, many users continue to rely on their smartphone’s standard text messaging app instead of cross-platform messaging services such as WhatsApp, so there are regularly heated debates there about the difference between blue speech bubbles (iMessages) and green speech bubbles (SMS). It is not yet known what color RCS messages will be in Apple’s Messages app.